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Perhaps the biggest single change for the oil business since the start of the slump is Halliburton’s deal to buy Baker Hughes. The mega-merger would radically alter the oil field servicing industry leaving two giants competing and a couple of smaller firms vying to take BHI’s spot as the new number three.

The 51st annual convention of the National Association of Pipe Coating Applicators (NAPCA) was held April 15-18 at The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, AZ Gainey Ranch, with over 200 attendees.

The convention’s business sessions heard updates from several speakers, including Rich Hoffman, executive director of the INGAA Foundation, who stressed to the group that “even in a downturned economy, safety has got to be the most important thing that we do.”

Think oil sands and Alberta comes to mind. Don’t tell that to Canadian oilmen in Utah, though, who expect to begin production at the first commercial oil sands mine in the United States by year’s end.

On June 24, U.S. Oil Sands Inc., based in Calgary, got approval from the Utah Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil, Gas and Mining for changes to the PR Spring project being built about 200 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The company has agreed to submit a plan by Nov. 1 for monitoring the quality of air and water at the project.

Republicans in Congress are working to pass legislation setting aside a new EPA and Army Corps of Engineers joint rule which makes it more expensive to build pipelines in areas containing streams and other small bodies of water. The rule would require pipelines - or anyone wanting to build in these tributaries and ponds - to first do site analysis and then, potentially, obtain a Clean Water Act permit. That is time-consuming and can be expensive. The EPA published the new so-called Waters of the U.S. – (WOTUS) rule in May which goes into effect Aug. 28.

NEW YORK — As drivers, shippers and airlines continue to enjoy lower fuel prices, the oil industry is responding to much lower profits with sharp cuts in spending and employment that are hurting economic growth.

Low oil and gas prices are good for the overall economy because they reduce costs for consumers and business. U.S. economic growth was higher in the second quarter, and economists say that was partly fueled by consumers spending some of their savings on gasoline at stores and restaurants.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coast Guard officials were still trying to determine the source of a mysterious miles-long oil slick off California's Santa Barbara County shoreline, but a scientist said Thursday that it's likely the result of naturally occurring seepage from the sea floor.

Authorities said the 3-mile sheen was harmless to people and beaches remained open — in contrast to the mass closure that occurred in May when a broken pipeline spilled 100,000 gallons of crude oil, fouling sands, seabirds and fishing areas in the same general area.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel has approved energy legislation that would lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports and open some areas of the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas exploration.

Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chairman of the panel, championed the plan to lift the restrictions. It passed by a party-line vote of 12-10.

Murkowski said lifting the ban would turn the United States into an energy superpower.

Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington, who opposes lifting the ban, describes the votes as an important first step in a long journey.

What's new from CDI, CSSI, Automation Products Inc., MBW, Rotork, Ubisense and others.

A new survey of over 400 energy executives and IT professionals in the energy, oil, gas and utility industries found that most energy security professionals were extremely confident in their ability to detect a cyber-attack on critical systems, with 86% stating they could detect a breach in less than one week.

The Saddlehorn Pipeline Company added a 50-mile extension to its planned 550-mile pipeline to transport various grades of crude oil from the DJ Basin, and potentially the broader Rocky Mountain and Bakken area resource plays, to storage facilities in Cushing, OK owned by Magellan Midstream Partners and Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.